Bibliometric survey and network analysis of biomimetics and nature inspiration in engineering science

Vincent Gerbaud, Hugues Leiser, Johnny Beaugrand, Bernard Cathala, Carole Molina-Jouve, Anne Marie Gue: Bibliometric survey and network analysis of biomimetics and nature inspiration in engineering science. In: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, 2022.


The field encompassing biomimetics, bioinspiration and nature inspiration in engineering science is growing steadily, pushed by exogenous factors like the search for potentially sustainable engineering solutions that might exist already in nature. With help of information provided by bibliometric database and further processed with dynamic network and semantic analysis tool, we provide insight at two scales on the corpus of nature inspired engineering field and its dynamics. At macro scale, the Web of Science® (WoS) categories, countries and institutions are ranked and ordered by thematic clusters and country networks, highlighting leading countries and institutions and how they focus on specific topics. Such an insight provides an overview at a macro scale that can be valuable to orient scientific strategy at the country level. At meso scale where science is incarnated by collaborative networks of authors and institutions that run across countries, we identify six semantic clusters and subclusters within them, and their dynamics. We also pinpoint leading academic collaborative networks and their activity in relation with the six semantic clusters. Trends and prospective are also discussed. Typically one observe that the field is becoming mature since, starting by imitating nature, it proceeded with mimicking more complex natural structures and functions and now it investigates ways used in nature in response to changes in the environment and implements them in innovative and adaptive artefacts. The sophistication of devices, methods and tools has been increasing over the years as well as their functionalities and adaptability whereas the size of devices has decreased at the same time.

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